The Omaha softball team began the 2016 season in Arizona, going 3-2 in the Hillenbrand Invitational against UC Santa Barbara, North Texas, Purdue, Arizona and Southern Utah.
UNO vs. UCSB: W 17-16 (9 innings)
In the season opener, UNO defeated UC Santa Barbara 17-16 in 9 innings. Freshman Laura Roecker started the game for UNO, pitching 5.1 innings and allowing nine earned runs. She also struck out two UCSB batters. After giving up 3 runs in the first inning, Bailey Schulenberg got the Omaha offense rolling with a solo home run in the top of the second.
An offensive explosion from each team occurred for the remainder of the game. Omaha held a three run lead in the bottom of the sixth, but they were unable to shut the door as UCSB capitalized on a UNO error to tie the game and forcing extra innings. Junior Nicole Warren hit a two-run shot in the top of the ninth to put the Mavs up 17-15. Abbie Clanton close the game for Omaha, earning her first career win.
UNO vs. North Texas: L 11-3
In Friday night’s game, Omaha committed four errors that led two seven runs in the third inning for North Texas. The Mavericks were able to climb back into the game, getting 3 runs back in the bottom of the third. Warren hit her second homerun of the season to drive in the runs. North Texas was able to keep Omaha off the board for the remainder of the game. Hames kept her hot streak going with a pair of singles. Clanton was credited with the loss.
UNO vs. Purdue: W 8-5
Omaha capitalized on five Purdue errors, scoring five unearned runs to top the Boilermakers for their second win of the season. Bailey Schulenberg led the Maverick offense with two doubles and three RBI. Kelly Pattison and Sydney Hames both hit solo home runs to contribute to the scoring effort. Roecker got another shot on the mound against Purdue, giving up five runs on seven hits with five strikeouts and three walks. It was Roecker’s first collegiate win.
UNO vs. No. 12 Arizona: L 12-2
The Mavericks faced host Arizona in the Saturday night game. Omaha was buried early in the game as Arizona scored 7 runs in the first and three in the second to make it 10-0. The Mavericks earned a few back in the top third off a Nicole Warren home run to make it 10-2. Abbie Clanton was credited with the loss after giving up seven runs on six hits and two walks after pitching just ⅔ of an inning.
UNO vs. Southern Utah: W 9-6
After surrendering one run in the top of the first, UNO got the offense going off a two-run home run from Sydney Hames in the bottom half. The Mavs extended their lead in the third off back to back home runs from Lizzie Noble and Hames again. Southern Utah got back in the game in the fourth, taking a one-run lead. However, Kelly Pattison hit a 2-run shot the next inning to put the Mavs back up 7-6. UNO tacked on a few more late in the game to make the final score 9-6.